The attractive, red-highlighted design, lively narrative and compelling subject matter will resonate with readers.




In the early years of the 20th century, doctors and researchers were stymied by a mysterious, often fatal illness that seemed to strike primarily Southern agricultural workers.

Patients presented with a severe rash, intestinal issues and dementia, and in addition to farm workers, many afflicted were found in institutions like mental hospitals and orphanages. After reviewing cases from Europe, doctors diagnosed pellagra and associated it with poverty and a poor diet featuring moldy corn. As the disease spread, the country’s medical leadership searched for causes and cures, and the sense of urgency led to the assignment of epidemiologist Dr. Joseph Goldberger to the case. Eventually, Goldberger and those who continued the work after his death identified the culprit as a vitamin deficiency, determined an inexpensive cure and led the way to nutritionally enhanced foods as part of the American diet. This is a highly detailed look at the difficulties of disease control before modern medicine. Jarrow makes clear how societal attitudes hampered efforts to end the scourge as well as the vulnerability of the poor and marginalized. The many photographs also reveal the devastating nature of the disease. The large number of cases described demonstrates the magnitude of the problem, but they can also be hard to follow and require patient readers.

The attractive, red-highlighted design, lively narrative and compelling subject matter will resonate with readers. (Nonfiction. 10 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-59078-732-8

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Small but mighty necessary reading.


From the Pocket Change Collective series

A miniature manifesto for radical queer acceptance that weaves together the personal and political.

Eli, a cis gay white Jewish man, uses his own identities and experiences to frame and acknowledge his perspective. In the prologue, Eli compares the global Jewish community to the global queer community, noting, “We don’t always get it right, but the importance of showing up for other Jews has been carved into the DNA of what it means to be Jewish. It is my dream that queer people develop the same ideology—what I like to call a Global Queer Conscience.” He details his own isolating experiences as a queer adolescent in an Orthodox Jewish community and reflects on how he and so many others would have benefitted from a robust and supportive queer community. The rest of the book outlines 10 principles based on the belief that an expectation of mutual care and concern across various other dimensions of identity can be integrated into queer community values. Eli’s prose is clear, straightforward, and powerful. While he makes some choices that may be divisive—for example, using the initialism LGBTQIAA+ which includes “ally”—he always makes clear those are his personal choices and that the language is ever evolving.

Small but mighty necessary reading. (resources) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09368-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Like many grammar books, this starts with parts of speech and goes on to sentence structure, punctuation, usage and style....


As she does in previous volumes—Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing (2008) and The Grammar Devotional (2009)—Fogarty affects an earnest and upbeat tone to dissuade those who think a grammar book has to be “annoying, boring, and confusing” and takes on the role of “grammar guide, intent on demystifying grammar.”

Like many grammar books, this starts with parts of speech and goes on to sentence structure, punctuation, usage and style. Fogarty works hard to find amusing, even cheeky examples to illustrate the many faux pas she discusses: "Squiggly presumed that Grammar Girl would flinch when she saw the word misspelled as alot." Young readers may well look beyond the cheery tone and friendly cover, though, and find a 300+-page text that looks suspiciously schoolish and isn't really that different from the grammar texts they have known for years (and from which they have still not learned a lot of grammar). As William Strunk said in his introduction to the first edition of the little The Elements of Style, the most useful grammar guide concentrates attention “on a few essentials, the rules of usage and principles of composition most commonly violated.” After that, “Students profit most by individual instruction based on the problems of their own work.” By being exhaustive, Fogarty may well have created just the kind of volume she hoped to avoid.

Pub Date: July 5, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8050-8943-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet